How to make your workspace approachable to the LGBT? For many LGBT businesses and employees, discrimination is a way of life.
Despite the progress towards LGBT rights in many countries in recent years, many US countries and states still do not provide legal protection for LGBT-friendly businesses.
LGBT-friendly business workplace
Being involved in events demonstrates a commitment to LGBT rights and sends a clear message to your staff and clients. So why should you make your workspace more inclusive? Let's see the benefits first.
Studies have shown that openly gay employees are happier and more productive than those who are forced to hide their sexual orientation, and the productivity gain extends to their coworkers as well.
Then there's the fact that, according to Brandon Gaille, LGBT people have about $790 billion in buying power, and 23% have "changed products or services in the past year because the company was supportive of the LGBT community." Furthermore, 71% would remain loyal to the LGBT-friendly company, even if buying the company's product would be less convenient or more expensive.
So there's a clear business opportunity here. Many of the LGBT-friendly business benefits we've already discussed also apply to LGBT employees, so he checks out that article for more detail:
On top of the benefits, there is also the fact that discrimination in the workplace has an actual human cost. It leaves people afraid of being who they are, wary of their coworkers, putting up with bullying or offensive jokes, and experiencing high-stress levels and other detrimental effects on their physical and mental health.
LGBT business tips for implementing:
- Identify actions: The first thing to do is assess the state of the fight for LGBT rights in the territories where the company operates, as there may be legal restrictions or social and religious difficulties. Once this is done, the following actions can be planned.
- Think global, act local: Once you have the LGBT-friendly business's global action plan, its application must adjust to the conditions of each place, following the previous point.
- Make inclusion part of your LGBT business: It should be part of the recruitment strategy so potential new employees know it is an inclusive company.
- Look inside: It is certain that within the company, there are already people from the LGBT community or allies of the cause. Recruiting them to carry the LGBT-friendly business's diversity message will be vital. In addition, having visible members in the organization will give confidence to those who still feel little to show their true selves.
- Promote mobility: Let LGBT employees know that being "out of the closet" at work will not play against them during development.
- Create a system of reverse mentoring: Supporting the LGBT-friendly business can be a culture shock even within the company, particularly with employees who do not share the same vision. A mentoring system would allow LGBT employees to be available to educate those who have questions on the issue.
- Use social networks: This will allow the global strategy to reach global offices where resources on the LGBT issue may be limited.
- Create networks: Be it with other companies, with governments, with social organizations, or with celebrities, as they will help take the message further.
How did these companies become an example to follow on the subject? What can others do to follow in their footsteps?
The first thing to do is assess the state of the fight for LGBT business rights in the territories where the company operates, as there may be legal restrictions or social and religious difficulties.
The United States mainly tells a story in which companies beat the government in protecting and recognizing the rights of LGBT people. Recognition of the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual transsexual (LGBT) community has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, both within companies and among society and the law. However, there are still places where the fight continues.